The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that the business engaged in an unlawful employment practice in violation of Title VII by discriminating against the pregnant employee on the basis of her sex by discharging her because she was approximately six months pregnant. The EEOC also claimed that the company also discriminated against other similarly situated women by discharging them because they were pregnant.
According to the EEOC, the effect of the company’s action was to deprive the pregnant employees of equal employment opportunities and otherwise adversely affect their status as employees.
You can work, but only until the 6-month point in your pregnancy.
Can a company in Florida make a pregnant employee stop working once she has been pregnant for 6 months?
Asked another way, can a Florida business terminate a pregnant worker if she is 6 months into her pregnancy?
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), this is what happened in a recent case. The employer did not target one woman because she was pregnant. Rather, it had a policy that allowed a pregnant woman to work until she reached the 6-month part of her pregnancy, at which time she would be terminated. The business implemented this policy multiple times, but one woman was upset and filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
In December 2017 the EEOC announced that the business agreed to settle the case by paying $35,000 and committing to training its employees.
EEOC spokespersons stated: “Federal law prohibits an employer from discharging a pregnant employee based on the employee's pregnancy,” and “[e]ven if an employer lets an employee work during the first six months of her pregnancy, as we found in this case, it still violates Title VII by having a blanket policy that prohibits an employee from working past her sixth month. Company policies must comport with the law.” Also, “[e]mployers who fire employees because they are pregnant are violating federal law.”
The “facts” in this case are what is claimed in the court filings and press releases. Even if the employer disputed the facts, this case demonstrates how many EEOC cases involving pregnant workers are resolved.
If your Florida business needs assistance in how to handle pregnant employee, contact an experienced labor and employment lawyer who has handled pregnancy discrimination cases in Florida. It is important to call your discrimination law firm before you take any adverse action against the pregnant employee, so that your legal counsel can assess your situation and assist you in making sure that you are not violating the discrimination laws.
If you need assistance in such a situation, contact the Law Office of David Miklas, P.A. or call us at 1-772-465-5111.
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The EEOC issued the company a Letter of Determination finding reasonable cause to believe that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was violated. When the EEOC was unable to secure a conciliation agreement from the employer that was acceptable to the EEOC, it sued the company on the employee’s behalf. EEOC v. Ichiban Japanese Restaurant, LLC, 2:17-cv-13164-DML-DRG.
Because the employer had at least fifteen employees, it was covered by the anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII.